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Opinion
Palm Coast Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2017 1 year ago

City needs to stop spending money on ‘nice’ sunshades and focus on safety

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The City Council is not being given enough information to make wise decisions.

By John Brady

Guest Writer

On April 18, the Palm Coast City Council approved a contract to put shades up which will cover playground areas in four city parks. The cost of this contract is almost $450,000. This is a “nice” thing, as it is supposed to make the playgrounds more usable during the hot summer.

At the City Council workshop on April 11, there was no information presented to the public that indicated these shades would extend the usable hours at the four playgrounds.

I suggest Palm Coast needs to stop “nice” and focus on safety. Safety would include lights and sidewalks. On March 28, students from Matanzas High School gave a presentation on some ideas relating to safety. It is well done and underscored the need for City Council to get busy on safety issues.

It is time to get serious and heed the concerns of these students and all the residents of Palm Coast. We need streetlights and sidewalks, not shades, trees or signs.

It is time to find ways to quickly install streetlights at the locations identified by the students. FPL should be involved and together with the students get the best and newest technology in streetlights installed.

The city gave an excuse that the money for shades is out of a different budget, but anyone who has studied the city budget is familiar with all the fund transfers that are completed.

The action by City Council is another example of how binary choices are given to City Council. The problem of shade at the playgrounds should be addressed as the problem with the various solutions laid out. For example, plant shade trees, use covered equipment and doing nothing should all presented to council with the pros and cons of each.

John Brady ran for Palm Coast mayor in 2016.

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